A research article is not complete until you have established a compelling abstract.

How to Write an Abstract

Abstract for a Research Article

An abstract is the preface to your hard work and the first and may be perhaps the only thing someone will ever read about your research.

An abstract is a short, self-contained, and powerful declaration that succinctly describes your exhaustive study. An abstract is not a review and it does not evaluate the larger piece of work. Rather, the abstract is always an original document that explains the main points of the research and hence, incorporates the most important information from all sections of your manuscript. Therefore, it just cannot be a passage taken straight out of the main article. It is extremely important to put both times and thought into your abstract because it is ultimately the “first impression” of your article. It is like an appetizer to the entrée you plan to serve. The abstract also determines whether or not readers will be interested enough to read what you have created and wish to share with others.

Typically, though, the two most important reasons for an abstract are for selection and indexing. Since the abstract is a short description of the larger article, it allows readers to quickly decide whether or not it will be worth their time to stay and read. Several online databases use abstracts to index larger pieces of work. Therefore, keep in mind that it is important for your abstract to contain important keywords and phrases that will allow for your target audience to easily search for, identify and cite your work.

As mentioned above, the format of your abstract will completely depend on upon the main topic you are focusing on. Many abstracts share several components that are mandatory in order for them to be the most powerful, and then there are other optional parts that you may include at your discretion. In order to create an outstanding abstract, you should always follow the correct structure, which needs to include a background, methods, results and a conclusion of the larger article. Usually, you would find the instructions in Guidelines to Author on the journal’s website. Most of the journals have specific demands as to how they want the abstract structured for their journal.

A simplified universally accepted format for an Abstract could look like this

  • Introduction/Aim/Background: Phrase it in one sentence what is your topic, and why you are writing the paper, making it easy for the reader to understand where you are taking them. Remember your audience is your peer reviewers, and ultimately others interested in your field of research.
  • Methods/Materials: Again, preferably in as few sentences explain how you conducted the research. Succinctly explain what kind of experiments were involved, or was it a case series? Don’t overdo it, and be liberal in omitting unnecessary details. Write sentences that can be read aloud without having to stop for breath.
  • Results: Numbers, numbers, and well-defined numbers. Let others know how your groups compared, giving statistical substantiation. Keep it short and relevant.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the deduction of your research and its relevance for future. Your conclusion should be able to answer how could it be useful for other in their practice and enhance their knowledge as well.

At Pub4Sure, we have incorporated templates that will help you structure your Abstract as per the following criteria. Keep in mind the following key elements that assist you in developing the specific structure, which journal editorial board and peer reviewers adore.

How to write an Abstract

Structure of an Abstract for Scientific Article

What’s your reason for writing the paper/article?

  • You must determine what is the most important in your research.
  • Decide and include why readers would be interested in staying to read the larger work you have created.

What is the main problem?

  • Explain what problem your article is trying to solve.
  • Elaborate precisely on the scope of the project.

What were the specific methods or support you used?

  • Your research article is a scientific piece of work; hence, you should include specific models or approaches that are used in the study.
  • Other types of abstracts may just describe any types of evidence that were used in the research in order to support the main purpose of the article.

Show results.

  • Include specific data to indicate results of the whole project.
  • Give exact p-values obtained in your statistical analysis

Any implications?

  • Let your readers know what changes should be implemented due to the results of your work.
  • Make sure to include how your work adds to the current knowledge base of the subject you have chosen.

Pub4Sure extends to you the following list of components that should be included in all abstracts, and even what to avoid:

Make sure to include:

  • Always include the most important information first.
  • Ensure the same type and style of language that is used in the article.
  • Include keywords and phrases that highlight the focus of the work and the content involved.
  • Use clear, concise and powerful language to engage readers.

DO NOT include the following in your Abstract:

  • References exclusive to other works, you want the focus to stay on your work.
  • Any added information that is not already in the article because an abstract is a powerful summary of your work, and a summary does not include new information.
  • Definition of terms; rather work to engage readers to read on to find out more.
  • References and citations; the abstract NEVER have references as it is strictly a short and thorough summary that sets the tone of your bigger piece of work.

Always remember, that ‘abstract’ actually pertains to a summary of your foremost concepts without the exhaustive details. Ultimately, the idea of creating an abstract is to be as clear and complete as possible using the least amount of words to get the main point across. Revise your abstract early and often making sure that every word has to mean and serves to grab the attention of audiences.  Maintain enthusiasm toward your topic and use language that is easily understood in order to keep the attention of your readers.  If you strive to follow the guidelines as listed above, along with the help of an expert you have chosen at Pub4Sure, you will be on your way to creating a powerful abstract that will never fail to be noticed!

We have tried to comprehensively cover most of the things here, still if you think we missed something please feel free to comment and make us all wiser.

Authors

Ajay Pal Singh MD (APtizer)
Paige Shreffler, RN @
www.mynursesnotes.com

GUIDE ON HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH ARTICLE

Also, read the following Articles that will help you write, organize and write an error-free manuscript that has high chances of getting accepted by the journal.

  1. TIPS ON WRITING A GOOD RESEARCH PAPER TITLE
  2. TIPS: HOW TO WRITE AN ABSTRACT FOR YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE?
  3. TIPS TO WRITE THE INTRODUCTION FOR YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE
  4. HOW TO WRITE THE METHODS SECTION OF A RESEARCH ARTICLE?
  5. HOW TO DRAFT THE RESULTS SECTION OF YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE
  6. HOW TO WRITE THE DISCUSSION OF A RESEARCH ARTICLE?
  7. HOW TO WRITE REFERENCES IN YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE
  8. HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE CASE REPORT FOR A JOURNAL?
  9. WHY PUBLISH YOUR SCIENTIFIC WORK IN A PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL?
  10. WHY IS YOUR RESEARCH PAPER REJECTED BY THE JOURNAL?
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